Equestrians get ‘extra fun time’ at Millstone

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – more than 400 images
* Millstone 4-H Camp schedule

ELLERBE — A tradition at Millstone 4-H Camp since 1973, some three dozen boys and girls ages 9 to 18 took to the two arenas Friday afternoon in an informal horse show that put a cap on the week-long 4-H Horsemanship Camp.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Hannah Graham, from Craven County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Hannah Graham, from Craven County.

Jessica Hlebak started at the camp when she was 10. Sixteen years later, she’s now barn manager and camp director. She looked with pride as Maya Tyson focused to keep the water in her cup while riding Whisper. Maya and the rest of the younger riders continually gazed towards Klebak for reassurance. They got it.

Hlebak said while half the riders were in the rings, the other half were in the rec hall participating in a Quiz Bowl-style trivia contest about horsemanship skills.

Instructors in both rings guided riders through walking and trotting and a series of drills designed to test the rider’s control over their steed as well as their physical stamina. In the lower ring, Samantha Taylor tasked her four riders to ride with one arm in the air, then the other.

She then let Hannah Graham, Madison Evans, Reva Dandrow and Elena Hamilton do a little jumping. After near-flawless efforts — and an attempt, or two, where the horse didn’t necessarily want to cooperate — Taylor called it a day after about an hour in the ring.

The riders then asked what score they earned. No score, Taylor said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Maya Tyson, on Whisper.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Maya Tyson, on Whisper.

“That’s just extra fun time,” Taylor said of the jumps.

Not a single equestrian cast doubt on their instructor’s method. Instead, they took it in stride, smiled, then dismounted and headed for the the 120-stall barn to finish off the only week of the year the three-ring facility is used.

Taylor said the idea is to show the riders skills they can use at home to better care for their horses independently.

Keith Russell, Millstone 4-H Camp director, said he’d like to see the facility be used more often by outside groups. He said the facility was rented out by a number of private groups, even in the colder days in February. The horse facility is another topic altogether.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Elena Hamilton jumps.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Elena Hamilton jumps.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Madison Evans, from Union County, shows her happiness before the start of the jumps.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Madison Evans, from Union County, shows her happiness before the start of the jumps.

 

Filed in: Ellerbe/Norman, Farm & Ag, Featured News, Latest Headlines, Outdoors

You might like:

GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience
Sit back for an ‘interesting story’ Sit back for an ‘interesting story’
Cash available for crime-solving tips Cash available for crime-solving tips
Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield
© 8136 The Pee Dee Post. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.